The theme for the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany is God’s Glory Manifested in Cleansing. In the Old Testament reading, Naaman’s (eventual) obedience brings cleansing of his leprosy; in the Gospel reading, Jesus heals a leper.
Sickness and disease are consequences of sin in the world. Jesus came into the world to relieve us of all the consequences of sin. First and foremost, His atoning death on the cross paid for our sins, and removed the consequences of our estrangement from God and punishment of everlasting torment in hell. At the Last Day, he will raise us up bodily, and we shall dwell with Him eternally in body and soul, but with bodies that are glorified, and no longer subject to the ravages of time and disease.
While He was here on earth, Jesus began this work of restoring His creation to its pristine state by healing the diseases of many, such as the leper in Mark 1:40–45.
Monday, 9 February 2009—Psalm 112:1, 3, 7–9; antiphon, Psalm 112:4—Psalm 112 speaks of the blessedness of the man who fears the Lord. This psalm is a complement to the preceding psalm, which tells of the blessings, physical and spiritual, which God bestows upon us. Those who trust in Him—who fear the Lord—show their gratefulness to Him by their lives, which are conformed to His will. The one who trust in the Lord greatly delights in His commandments.
Tuesday, 10 February 2009—Psalm 30—This psalm of David is written and sung in gratitude for the Lord’s deliverance. He thanks the Lord for physical blessings in vv. 1–5, and thanks Him for adversity in vv. 6–10. Thanking the Lord for adversity? Yes, because it was just that which caused David to turn from his pride and trust in himself, and to plead to the Lord for mercy. Thus, the Lord has turned his mourning into dancing, resulting in David’s pledge to give thanks to You forever!
Wednesday, 11 February 2009—2 Kings 5:1–14—What would you do to be healed of a horrible disease? Naaman was willing to do almost anything—except place his trust in the Lord and in His prophet. When his unbelief was pointed out by his servants, he relented, and was healed, as God had said through the prophet Elisha. Verse 15, not included in our reading, shows that Naaman then trusted in the one, true God.
Thursday, 12 February 2009—1 Corinthians 10:31—11;1—St Paul boasts, not of himself, but of the Gospel. What a privilege it is for him, and all of us, to proclaim the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus! He cannot but go out to all—Jew, Gentile, weak, strong—and proclaim the forgiveness that belongs to all men through the merits of Christ.
Friday, 13 February 2009—Mark 1:40–45—We live in a fallen world. One of the effects sin has on our world is disease. When Jesus walked here on earth, He healed diseases, beginning the work of restoring the fallen creation. When He died on the cross, he won the victory over sin and the devil. On the Last Day, that victory will be brought to fulfillment, as the present heaven and earth pass away, to be replaced by a new heaven and earth—one in which there is no sickness or disease.
Saturday, 14 February 2009—The hymn of the day, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (LSB 700), tells us that God is the source of all love, and Jesus is the manifestation of that love. In the Gospel reading for to-morrow, Jesus heals a leper from a horrible disease, because of His compassion and love. We, then, in the hymn, ask God to heal us of the disease of our sinfulness, that we might love as He loves us.
Collect for Epiphany 6—O Lord, graciously hear the prayers of Your people that we who justly suffer the consequence of our sin may be mercifully delivered by Your goodness to the glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.